Germany's first "liberal mosque" has opened inside a Protestant church it is renting in Berlin, the RT (Russia Today) website reports today (June 17, 2017).
"Fundamentally, the mosque's door is open to everyone, with one exception: No one will come in with a niqab or burka," organizer Seyran Ates, who moved to Germany from Turkey when she was six years old, said.
Banning the headwear often worn by females in the Muslim community isn't the only modern-day twist being brought to the Ibn Rushd-Goethe mosque, which is named after Islamic philosopher Ibn Rushd and iconic German author Johann Wolfgand von Goethe. According to Ates, men and women will be allowed to pray and preach together, rather than separately. Members of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community will also be welcomed.
Ates, a feminist, peace activist, and lawyer, said she felt it was "ultimately irresponsible" for a progressive Muslim woman like herself to simply complain about conservative Islamic organizations, rather than start her own mosque. She admitted she received some "very violent and obscene" threats for opening the liberal mosque, which prompted her to request police protection.